I’ve accumulated nearly 30 hours of multiplayer playtime and though it was a good time to plop down some more thoughts on Battlefield 3’s multiplayer for the PlayStation 3.
The framerate holds together well for the most part, but after playing Modern Warfare 3 and its 60 FPS goodness, I’ve begun to notice the grogginess of frame drops. Nothing game breaking, but it’s noticeable to the point of me exclaiming: “Oh my.”
Multiple flaming tank wreckages near water takes its toll on the poor five year old PlayStation 3 graphics chip.
Those Damn Legs
I appreciate being able to see my own legs in first person — it’s a nice touch. I don’t appreciate them sticking through walls when a player is prone. Worse yet? I can actually shoot them. Clipping through walls isn’t a new problem to the Battlefield franchise, but it’s the first time where a player can actually be hurt by it.
These legs also have the bad habit of not jumping over obstacles consistently. Having the jump work only 9/10 times on certain railings and fences isn’t good enough.
Are We Losing That Flag?
In Conquest, the minimap and its flag indicators becomes one of the most important UI elements on screen. Unfortunately for us, it doesn’t work reliably. Sometimes a flag is capped, but it still shows that it’s neutral. More bothersome is when the flag is being capped, but it doesn’t relay that information at all. It’s a lottery as to who gets affected by these mini map bugs. Sometimes multiple players on the same team are affected, but have different flags reporting inaccuracies.
Input Lag? Maybe?
Apparently there’s an input lag bug that we’ve all adjusted to. Hopefully my performance isn’t negatively affected if and when it’s fixed.
I wish there was a wider variety in the maps from both gameplay and aesthetic perspectives. I miss the snow and jungle palettes from Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Thank goodness for Caspian Border and its greenery, but I want more diversity. I also miss being able to weave between buildings and natural obstacles.
Battlefield 3’s Seine’s Crossing and its rigid layout makes me yearn for the more free flowing nature of Bad Company 2’s diamond shaped flag arrangements. We can’t level any building or punch a hole through any of the walls, so players are just funnelled through alleyways of death. It’s the infantry centric map that I sigh at when it comes up on rotation.
When there are 24 players on the field, most of the maps feel right. None of them feel too small, but I can understand the grief Operation Metro gets from the PC players. (DICE doesn’t balance for 64 players, people.) I can see how an additional 8 players in total can improve games like Caspian Border or Kharg Island where the objectives are spaced out a bit more. But since every map has one or two points that can be easily locked down for victory, focusing the action hasn’t been a big problem at all. The bigger maps feels like Battlefield 2’s 32 player games which is a plus if that’s what you’re looking for.
The flashlight in Battlefield 3 is brighter than the sun regardless of distance. DICE have said they’re going to fix that along with tweaks to the weapon damage across various weapons. They’ve already released a PC patch to address the latter amongst other things. Console peasants like me will have to wait until the patch goes through Sony’s certification.
But to be fair, I haven’t witnessed any abuse like Bad Company 2’s anti-infantry Carl Gustav. Even the bright flashlights and lasers have gone by the way side for most players. I imagine they were giving away their locations far too often to be useful for them.
The only drastic map imbalance I’ve noticed is for Noshahr Canals. Other maps like Operation Metro favor the Russians a bit, but they do not demand much from players outside of killing ability. Noshahr Canals asks the U.S forces to become amazing chopper pilots and anti-tank warriors. Needless to say, most people aren’t which leads to lopsided matches favoring the Russians.
The Fun Times
As with Bad Company 2, I’ve restricted my playtime with friends. A good squad can make the difference, but even in defeat a squad of friends is better than losing with a squad of randoms.
I don’t have the patience to carry a team by myself. If I don’t see effort being put forth, I quit. It’s simple as that.
Solid Thus Far
There’s a solid foundation here and by the time the Strike at Karkand map pack lands, I think Battlefield 3’s multiplayer will be in a even better state. Just a couple of patches can make all the difference.